Dr. Dawg

Rights and Democracy: new boss, old boss

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R&D Clown.jpg

The fatuous Lawrence Cannon is set to reappoint two of the worst offenders over at Rights & Democracy—Elliott Tepper and Jacques Gauthier, whose terms are about to expire.

Here are a couple of highlights, if that’s the word, of their contributions to that doomed outfit.

All but one of the staff of Rights and Democracy called for the resignations of both gentlemen in January, 2010, and of Chairman Aurel Braun, for a pattern of racially-tinged harassment against them. The Board members had been inquiring as to the ethnic origins of several staff members, and complaining that there were no Jews on staff.

Before the House of Commons foreign affairs committee, a former Board member, Payam Akhavan, Professor of International Law at McGill, gave riveting testimony:

Akhavan: [Jacques] Gauthier went on a 6 day trip to China, received 11 days of fee from R&D of $3,575 where other members received a $500 honorarium.

The Board’s budget for $130,000 for the previous fiscal year was already approaching $300,000 when I left. A big part of that were honoraria paid to board members to come and speak here as if they are volunteers. The honoraria which were budgeted at $40,000 were approaching $80,000 by the time I left the board.

[Bob] Rae: Board members are paid? How?

Akhavan: Board members are paid an honorarium for every full day of work that they do.

Rae: If they travel do they get permission if they go on a mission? And expenses?

Akhavan: Mr Navarro-Genie, who has been leaking info to the press was for a week at the office of R&D in a position as a senior advisor. We don’t know what his mandate was, how much he was paid. The contract was given to him by acting president Gauthier.

So a Board member gets big extra bucks for a business trip, and lets a contract to another one, a contract that sure sounds sole-sourced to me. As the old song puts it, “My God, how the money rolls in.”

But the reappointment of these two by the Minister of Convenient Memory is really no surprise. While the agency’s long-term survival is now in increasing doubt, keeping the Clown Team together will certainly maintain stability—at least in the Mubarakian sense.

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This page contains a single entry by Dr. Dawg published on February 3, 2011 10:46 AM.

Press Freedom Day in Mubarak's Egypt was the previous entry in this blog.

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